I met him for the first time on Waterloo Bridge on a blustery autumn afternoon with the sun sinking behind the glass and concrete cliffs of London’s skyline. He wore a scarf, unnecessary on what was a mild day for the time of year, and I knew at first sight that there was a strong streak of vanity lurking beneath the hard-headed, tough minded veneer.
His greeting was gruff – I expected no less – a curt hello, followed by: “You’re the new girl, then?”
“New woman, actually,” I said.
He nodded, smirked, and had the decency to apologise. “Should know better, get it right one of these days.”
He was, in truth, exactly as described: a befuddled genius, with the looks of a film star, the body of a god, and the moral dexterity of a French philosopher. Trouble, in other words. A man who exuded charm and knew it.
Luckily, I was immune.